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College of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado Denver

College of Architecture & Planning


College of Architecture and Planning

Mark Gelernter

Professor and Dean

Mark GelernterContact Information:

Phone: 303.315.1020 
Office Location: CU Denver Building, 330E
Office Hours: By appointment 

(Contact )



Degrees Held

  • PhD in Architecture, University of London (1981)
  • BArch, Montana State University (1974)

Research Interests

Architectural history, theory, and design education


Two books: Sources of Architectural Form: A Critical History of Western Design Theory, and A History of American Architecture: Buildings in Their Cultural and Technological Context. Numerous articles on architectural history, theory, and design education, both here and in the United Kingdom. Dr. Gelernter’s papers on design education explore how the design skill is acquired, and how design education might be changed to teach the design skill more effectively.

Professional Accomplishments

Dr. Gelernter was a Lecturer in Architecture in the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, from 1979 to 1987. While there, he drew all of the new illustrations for the 18th edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s History of Architecture, the standard architectural history book in the English speaking world throughout most of the 20th century.

Dr. Gelernter joined the University of Colorado in 1987, working both in the old College of Environmental Design in Boulder and the old School of Architecture in Denver, before they were joined into one College in 1993. He served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Boulder and then as the Associate Dean of the combined College. He won a number of CU teaching and research awards in this period, including a SOAR award. This was the highest student-generated award for excellence in teaching on the Boulder campus, given to four faculty each year.

Dr. Gelernter served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Graduate School for the Denver campus from 1998 to 2003. During this period, he successfully managed the campus NCA re-accreditation process, created the Center for Faculty Development, and oversaw a fundamental reorganization of the Graduate School and its rules. While serving as the Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in 2001, he helped develop and implement an incentive-based budgeting model for the campus.

Dr. Gelernter was appointed Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning in 2003 after a national search. He has led the faculty in a re-visioning process that has focused the College on four emerging areas of prominence and distinction: historic preservation; sustainable urbanism, healthy environments, and emerging practices in design including green design and digital modeling. He established research centers in these areas that have increased funded research in the College three-fold since he became Dean. He also used these themes to increase philanthropic donations to the College, from an average over the last ten years of $200K per year to $2.6M in 2006. The re-visioning process is also developing routes through the curricula at all levels that are focused on the College’s four themes. For his work on improving the quality of design education in the state, he has received two awards from Colorado chapters of the American Institute of Architects.

Most Recent Courses

  • Dr. Gelernter periodically teaches a course on regional design for the graduate level architecture and landscape architecture students.

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